My dearly beloved fathers and fellow people, my beloved in Christ’s love children,
The mystery of the Resurrection, which we live in our Church, is what gives meaning to our human existence. Because Christ was resurrected, we hope. Because Christ was resurrected, we are not afraid. Because Christ was resurrected, we are not overwhelmed by the decay of sin, by the passions and mistakes that make us fail to truly meet God and fellow human beings. Because they install between heaven and earth, but also between each of us and our fellow people, a wall, which seems invincible. This is the obstacle of the proud mind, which thinks that it can discover and learn everything. Where he believes that he will live forever, as he will find the means by which time will not subdue us. Where he believes that the first thing in life is to be well, to have a good time, to enjoy the goods of the world, to have power and authority so that others can exist only for us.
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1, Corinthians, 15,26) is said by Apostle Paul. And this is the only undeniable truth. We were defeated by the old self (Colossians, 3 9), who did not make good use of the freedom given to him by God and left sin to tarnish the ancient beauty. We have been deceived by the envy of the devil, who cannot bear to see the crown of God’s creations where man is, to walk in a communion of love with God and with fellow human beings. We have been submerged in our works by the worldly, which fill our time and make us walk with the illusion that we are invulnerable, invincible, immortal. Death, however, awaits. Sometimes like sadness, sometimes as disease, either as loneliness, or like the so-called end of our lives. But we want it to be abolished. We ask for hope. And we turn to Him who is the resurrection and the life, our Lord.
In the hymnography of our Church we find these wonderful words:” Yesterday I was buried with Thee, O Christ; today I rise with Thine arising. Yesterday I was crucified with Thee; do Thou Thyself glorify me with Thee, O Saviour, in Thy kingdom.” (Canon of the Easter Sunday Matin). These words are a confession: As you entered the tomb yesterday, so I buried my old self with You. As you were resurrected today, and I am resurrected with You through faith and love. As you were crucified yesterday to show us the way, that without sacrifice, without effort, without patience, life does not change, so I was crucified with You to follow You in this true way. So, O my Savior, glorify me with You in Your kingdom!
We want to be free today, but we are not. People promise us that we will be lucky if we face the problems that arose due to the disease. That we will return to a normality, in which we will be able to enjoy our lives and move forward in what we each wish. However, we, as Christians, are not free! Having the resurrection as the core of our lives, we know that in the encounter with Christ in the Church we are freed from every bond. Our regularity is love. It is repentance and the struggle not to let passions and mistakes rule us. It is to believe that no fear, no sorrow can separate us from the love of Christ. And this ethos, which constitutes the continuation to those of the experience of the Most Holy Theotokos, of the Apostles, of the Myrrh-bearing women, of the truthful witnesses of the Resurrection, is also our life!
Let’s be courageous, brothers and sisters! Let’s have faith! And let us start from the beginning our struggle in the Church, holding the hope of the Resurrection, to be resurrected with Christ, knowing that He is the truth and the meaning of our life! Let us cry out again with hope, raising the candles and the resurrected candles high to heaven and one to the other:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen, fellow people!
With warm paternal wishes in Resurrected Christ!
YOUR BISHOP AND SPIRITUAL FATHER
+ OF CORFU, PAXOI AND DIAPONTIAN ISLANDS